The Yorkton Terriers’ magic number is one in their pursuit of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Sherwood Conference crown.
After securing three points on the week, the Terriers need one win in their last two games, or a Melville loss in their final three games, and the Conference is theirs.
Yorkton sits atop the conference with 74 points, based on a record of 35-13-1-3, four better than the Millionaires with 70.
Notre Dame sits third with 57, followed by Kindersley with 45, Estevan 42, and Weyburn who will miss the playoffs with 33.
On a northern road swing this week things did not go the Terriers way.
Friday in Flin Flon the Terriers scored first on a goal by Tyler Giebel midway through the first period. The goal would stand up until the 18:35 mark of the second period when Andy Blanke tied the game on the power play for the Bombers.
At 15:11 of the third Dillan McCombie scored to give Flin Flon its first lead of the contest.
But the Terriers were not finished as Jeremy Johnson scored 12-seconds later to tie the game up at two.
The game went to the five-minute, four-on-four overtime, which proved nothing.
In the shoot-out the Bombers would prevail to notch a 3-2 win.
Dawson MacAuley faced 34 shots in the loss, while Devin Buffalo faced 35 in the Bomber net for the win.
A night later in Nipawin, Giebel again scored in the first period to give Yorkton a 1-0 lead.
But Tad Kozun and Ben Johnstone would reply before the period’s end to give Yorkton a 2-1 lead.
Following a scoreless second Johnstone would add another goal in the third to complete a 3-1 victory.
Kale Thomson took the loss in the Terrier net facing 31 shots, while Jordan Liem faced 26 shots in the Nipawin net for the win.
Over the Hounds
Notre Dame visited Yorkton last Wednesday, with the Terriers enjoying period leads of 1-0, and 4-1 before wrapping up a 6-1 victory.
Josh Bruha was the only Hound to beat Terrier netminder Dawson MacAuley among 22 Notre Dame shots.
The Terriers had goals from Tyler Giebel, Joshua Ellis, Brady Norrish, Chase Norrish, Patrick Martens and Kailum Gervais as Hound netminder Michael Salmon faced 43 shots.
Gervais was the game’s first star, and while he said that he felt good, he quickly added “it was really a team effort,” even on the goal which he credited to his linemates. He said Zak Majkowski was key in getting him the puck.
Gervais said the Hound defenceman was cheating toward Majkowski, “and the goaltender was edging over for Zak too,” which gave him a hole to shoot for.
Terrier head coach Trent Cassan said the win over Notre Dame was a pretty complete effort. “I thought it was a really solid game. As a coach you want to see that sort of effort,” he said. “I was pleased with the overall effort.”
Cassan said “there are lots of things you need to do in the playoffs to have some success,” adding he saw a lot of those things against the Hounds. He explained the team skated hard, made plays, and were strong on defence.
The Terriers have two regular-season games remaining. They visit Melfort Friday, and then host Battlefords Sunday in the final game on their schedule. The home game starts at 6 p.m.